A coronavirus vaccine is the only thing that can make life 'perfectly normal' again, former FDA commissioner says

Scott Gottlieb.
(Image credit: Screenshot/CBS)

The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus may slow down in the United States in the not-so-distant future, but that doesn't mean life will go back to normal.

In an appearance on Face the Nation Sunday, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told host Margaret Brennan he expects a "slow transition" for society even if the epidemic peaks, as he expects, in late April and peters off in June. That's because it could come back in the fall, so until there's a vaccine, "life's never going to be perfectly normal."

In the meantime, he said some antiviral drugs currently in trial look like they could be effective in combating the virus, but he wasn't ready to say that there's any single development that's been overwhelmingly convincing.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who has been at the forefront of the pandemic, shared Gottlieb's prediction that life won't revert back to the way it was anytime soon. He rattled off a wide range of time, suggesting things may be altered for anywhere between nine and 12 months. Tim O'Donnell

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Tim O'Donnell

Tim is a staff writer at The Week and has contributed to Bedford and Bowery and The New York Transatlantic. He is a graduate of Occidental College and NYU's journalism school. Tim enjoys writing about baseball, Europe, and extinct megafauna. He lives in New York City.